Athens bid to bag plastic

Supermarket managers have responded positively to a bid by Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis to start replacing plastic bags with more environmentally friendly fabric equivalents or reusable heavy-duty plastic ones, City Hall said yesterday. The initiative, an extension of Kaklamanis’s campaign to boost recycling, aims to reduce the amount of plastic bags being discarded. The use of fabric bags and reusable plastic bags is common in other European cities such as Paris, Brussels and London. «The plastic bag may be used just once but has a life cycle of 400 years,» a City Hall announcement said. Initial talks with senior officials from top supermarkets, including Metro, Veropoulos, Atlantis and A-B Vassilopoulos, were encouraging and a new meeting has been set for next month, Kaklamanis said. Until then, the mayor is to discuss the scheme with officials at the Environment and Public Works Ministry, the Development Ministry as well as consumer associations.